Seattle University senior guard D'Vonne Pickett Jr. took an inbounds pass with 26 seconds to play, dribbled around a pick and scored the go-ahead layup Thursday night to beat Norfolk State 70-67 and complete an improbable comeback by the Redhawks at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Wash.
Pickett, who came off the bench and scored just four points all game, ensured that Seattle -- which trailed by double-digits for most of the game -- would continue its best start in 42 years. The Redhawks (8-3) earned their fifth win in a row.
Seattle was led by 18 points apiece from forward Deshaun Sunderhaus and guard Isiah Umipig, whose 3-pointer off a steal with under a minute left cut Norfolk's lead to 68-67, setting up Pickett's heroics. Redhawks forward Clarence Trent added 17 points.
Norfolk State saw its three-game winning streak snapped and was sent home heartbroken from the ShoWare College Classic. The Spartans (8-4) led Seattle 41-30 at the half and were up seven points with three minutes to play before going scoreless the rest of the game and watching the Redhawks close on a 10-0 run.
Seattle also forced 13 second-half turnovers and stifled Norfolk State's dynamic shooting guards, who were 5-for-9 from 3-point range in the first half but went just 1-for-6 from there. Norfolk State was led by guard Malcolm Hawkins, who had 22 points, while forward Anell Alexis added 11 points and four boards. Center Brandon Goode chipped in 10 points, but the Spartans suffered because of electric guard Pendarvis Williams' off night.
The reigning MEAC Player of the Week, who was coming off a terrific performance in Norfolk State's last game when he scored the final five points in a 86-82 overtime win against Boston University, was held to seven points on 2-of-11 shooting. Williams also missed the potential game-winning shot with three seconds left.
Seattle fell behind by as many as 13 points in the first half and had some unhappy fans at ShoWare Center, which sits just 25 miles from the Redhawks' campus. It was the first meeting between the schools.
Norfolk State, which fell to 1-3 on the road, next faces a huge test when it returns to its home state and travels Monday to take on ACC power Virginia.
Seattle returns to action Sunday at Nebraska-Omaha.